Summary: This sermon is centered on Proverbs 27:12 and the ability to make wise decisions. It also involves a breakdown in the American Political process and the rioting in the Capitol Building.
To Make Wise Decisions, Connect The Dots
How many of us have ever made a decision that we later regretted? How many of us have said, “If I had known then, what I know now, I would have chosen a different path?” When you make a poor choice, are you more likely to blame yourself or to seek to put the blame on others or on your circumstances?
What do these words have in common? Yield, bump, curve ahead, stop, one way, bridge freezes before road, detour, and left turn only. These are all words that you find on roadway signs. What’s the purpose of the information?
These words all want you to think and to make adjustments before you keep moving forward. They do not have the power to make you do anything. They do provide you with a choice to change your behavior to keep you from regretting a bad decision.
Sometimes you can ignore the signs, and there might not be any apparent consequence. Sometimes you can ignore the signs and experience an inconvenience, minor damage to your car, or a traffic ticket. Sometimes you can ignore the sign, and it may cost you or others their lives.
It’s not a matter of whether or not you like the particular message of a particular sign that should impact your behavior. It’s a matter of connecting the dots into the future of what might happen if this sign is ignored. The very sign that we are tempted to ignore, might be something that’s there to save our lives.
There is a passage in the book of Proverbs that provides us with direction and insight on how to make wise decisions by connecting the dots. By connecting the dots I’m talking about drawing a picture.
Do you remember as kids, we use to be given a piece of paper with numbers all over it? If you drew a line from one number to the next in the right sequence a picture will begin to emerge on the page.
Choosing to go from #5 to #6 would further create the picture. Our decisions do not happen in a vacuum. We are drawing a picture whether we like it or not of our lives with each decision that we make.
Jesus understood this very well. He knew he had a certain purpose to accomplish with his life. He was to be in Jerusalem on a particular day in order to be crucified and to die for our sins.
When others tried to get him to make choices to show who he was, “Jesus would say, my time has not yet come.” Jesus connected the dots between his current behavior, and how the choices he made now would impact the final mission that his Father had sent Him to do.
Proverbs 27:12 says in the (NIV2011) 12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. In the Message bible it says (MSG) 12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Why do you think God would write the same thing to us twice? God wants us to pay attention.
We don’t use the word prudent much but it means shrewd in a good sense. It’s the person who sees a situation and thinks before acting upon it. Google defines it as acting with or showing care and thought for the future.
A prudent person takes the time to connect the dots between where I am now, and where I will be in the future. The prudent person knows that, I must make some changes to avoid a danger that is in front of me.
In our Old Testament Reading, God had made a promise to the people of the nation of Israel. Gold told them that He would deliver them out of slavery in Egypt, take them to a bountiful land, remove the people out, and would defeat their enemies. Well God did it.
Moses was the leader God used to get them out of Egypt. Joshua was the leader God used to conquer the land and to distribute it to the people. Finally, Joshua was ready to retire from his job and the people had everything God had wanted to give to them.
Joshua said to the people, “You need to make a choice. This is it. Either throw away the gods you have been hiding and carrying around in your back pockets so that you can serve the Lord faithfully or choose to serve the gods you’ve been carrying around, either the old ones or the new ones you just found.